In the near future, Earth is at war with aliens called Worms. The war leaves the population of Earth decimated, with young men the main casualties. The Worms were beaten back but their re-emergence heralds the creation of a mecha unit called the Sonic Divers, piloted by 3 young girls to counter this threat.
To those of you who have yet to see this anime, please allow me to make one thing clear: Sky Girls is not a mecha fighting anime. Yes, there are mecha, and yes, there is fighting; but those things are not the primary focus.
1. Sky Girls is a character-driven anime. If you don't find the characters interesting, then you should consider dropping it. I say this because the first half of the series is focused on character development, which can be quite excruciating if you find the characters annoying or uninteresting. I, personally, found the girls cute enough to keep
2. The second half of the series focuses on furthering the plot, which is well worth seeing.
3. Fan service. Crotch shots and bath scenes where only the area above the nipples are exposed. Very minimal, but adds a bit of spice (especially to male viewers).
1. You might find the girls a bit annoying or stereotypical. The way they act does tend get old in the latter half of the series.
2. Filler episodes. It's sad when a 26-episode anime has fillers. I recommend fast-forwarding through them. They really don't add much to the experience.
3. It drags at times, especially in the first 12 episodes. The only thing that got me through the first half of the anime was the fact that I was strangely intrigued by the girls.
Try it out and see if you like the girls; because that's really the only way you can enjoy this series. Otherwise, don't bother.
Sky Girls is a prime example of why you shouldn't judge an anime by its cover. If you find lolis disturbing and against your morals, so be it - but just to let you know, Sky Girls has less fan service than most shows you're likely watching. The only real case of fan service would be their uniforms. Outside of that, nothing really. So don't be afraid to look into this show; rest assured, its nothing like Strike Witches.
I finished this 26 episode series in three days, something I hardly ever do. It was addicting and unexpectedly solid across all categories. The story kicks off
a decade after the end of the WORM attacks. Three young girls are called to the Oppama base, where they will serve as test pilots for a new type of mecha unit called Sonic Divers. The three are: Eika Ichijo, Otoha Sakurano, and Karen Sonomiya. Ichijo is a tsundere character with a military background, who serves as the leader of the team. Sakurano and Sonomiya didn't have any experience when they were called, but both found reason to accept the duty. Sakurano had a desire to fly the skies in place of her lost brother, and Sonomiya had a strong sense of justice. They were told their duty will be to simply serve as test pilots, but that was a lie told in order to get the three ready for a second coming of WORMs (due to their DNA structure, these three have high compatibilities with the mecha units - that's why they were chosen. This will make more sense after you watch). The re-assignment from test pilots to active military units startles Sakurano at first, but the three accept their new mission in the end. From there, they fight WORMs as they make their way to its central nest in the middle of the ocean.
The story is much more solid than I could ever imagine from a loli show called "Sky Girls". Transitions between episodes and battles are clean and done with hardly any downtime (there are 2-3 enjoyable filler episodes though), so there is hardly a dull moment. Plenty of twists are thrown in as well, mostly surrounding the WORMs: their existence, origination, motives, and weaknesses. The WORMs are ginormous beings that take the shape of whatever organism they see first. Since most WORMs are born in the ocean, they generally take the shape of marine animals, but some more unique WORMs emerge - such as a few that take the shape of humans. It's sort of like Shadow of the Collossus if you've played that.
The Sonic Diver mechas mimic the movements of their pilots. They have different weapons equipped ranging from firearms, lasers, and unique to Sakurano - a sword. To defeat the enemy, the Sky Girls use a tactic they call "Delta Lock". This move creates a spherical barrier that traps in the enemy allowing them to unleash an all out attack at once. Later on in the show, this move becomes "Quadra Lock" after a fourth member joins the team.
That's right, the cast isn't limited to three lolis. As with any mecha, the cast of Sky Girls is grand. There are the mechanics, the pilots, the commanding officers, and of course - a chef to feed em' all. A fourth Sky Girl pilot joins the cast about halfway through, and a fifth towards the end. Another three-person squadron makes appearances here and there, flying in anti-WORM units called "Vic Vipers". The supporting cast of officers and mechanics has a large amount of screen time, and an equal amount of effort is put behind each. Together, they all contribute to a lively cast of characters.
MELL, the singer behind Black Lagoon's opening, sings an epic theme song for Sky Girls. Both endings, sadly, were not as impressive. The soundtrack has some really awesome tunes though, although there wasn't a lot of variation. My favorite would be the piano track called, "Fall in Love". Animation was the weakest category of Sky Girls in my opinion. It wasn't bad, there weren't any disfigurations or anything of that sort, it just wasn't all that sharp and the action sequences were sort of faded. It might have been the files I was watching were of low quality, but I'm guessing that's probably not the case.
Overall, Sky Girls was worth the journey. The mecha fights may not be on par with the epicness of Gundam, nor were the visuals as sharp as mechas generally are, but it still kept me entertained with its cute cast of pilots and solid storyline. Seeing the team flying around fighting WORMs reminded me a lot of Star Fox 64, which brought a smile to my face. I'd recommend this show to everyone, but obviously the character design would be hard to get by for a lot of people and I understand. But hey- give it a shot. I did, and I was not disappointed.
I expected Sky Girls to be a sort of Strike Witches-esque show with fan service and a lackluster plot. However, it surprised me in how interesting of a series it turned out to be.
Plotwise, Sky Girls became very interesting as time went on. The first five or six episodes were relatively boring, but over time, little plot twists and small details made the series worth watching.
Artwise, it wasn't fantastic, but certainly wasn't bad. Some CG things were really awkward, but they were few and far between. Otherwise, the animation was smooth and the Sonic Divers were made well. Although this isn't related to art, I
should mention that while this show does contain mechs, the show doesn't really focus on them. They're moreso just tools used than real plot foci.
Musicwise, there wasn't a whole lot to comment on. The opening is one of the dopiest songs I've ever heard. ("Oh, prerry radies, Sky Girls. Fate understood. Innocent red. Last arms. Haaaaaaaaa.") However, after listening to it far too much, it's kind of catchy. That might just be because I find it kind of deplorable from a musical standpoint, though. The endings were uninteresting and forgettable, in my opinion. The soundtrack is decent but not too notable.
Characterwise, the characters were very well fleshed out and given necessary attention. The interactions between characters were realistic and even very heartwarming at times.
Overallwise (and who needs words anyway?), Sky Girls was surprisingly enjoyable. I give it a seven overall because, while it was a great show, it wasn't that great, and the shortcomings that it did have prevented it from being fantastic as a whole. While there wasn't a whole lot of fanservice, there was a little more than was necessary. Could the show have been better? Yes, and it had a lot of potential. Was it a complete waste of potential? No, definitely not.
Every now and then I take a chance to watch a show, with little if any expectations. The synopsis I read before adding it to my list really paled in comparison to what the show turned out into. It has its ups, and downs, but overall it is an enjoyable Anime.
Before I mention some of its strengths, I'd like to start by mentioning a few weaknesses. The art of the Sonic Divers, are a little bland. Each one is a bit different than the others, but they really give you the feel of a military air frame that is somewhat mass
produced, and feels stale. However, the environments, and animation of the battle sequences are filled with eye candy. Later in the show when they are aboard the ship, I marveled at some of the detail of the walls and control systems on the ship, a detail that is easy to over look.
The story, is solid, but the episodes for most of the series may seem a bit formulaic. This may hinder some folks enjoyment, but the star of this show is the characters. Little is said about some of the subtle characteristics of the Sonic Divers, which may startle some viewers when they show up later in the show. For me, the best part of the story, was how it hid it's main theme for much of the show. When I finally saw the backstory for their enemy the WORMs, is when I understood why the story is as likable as it is. The optimism, even in somewhat difficult situations is somewhat contagious.
Very rarely, have I found a show that gives enough screen time to the many support characters to give them enough depth to be loved, and this show is one of them. This lends to a bit of slow pacing at times in the show, but knowing these characters, the Sky Girls in particular, gives the audience a sense of stake in the outcome of their battles. Despite that, there were a couple of things I felt needed closure that went forgotten in the seasons final episode.
Still, I like how the show built up over it's length, and gave us just enough of a taste at the ending to satisfy most fans. Honestly, this show isn't about the tech, the mecha, or their powers, It's about the characters, and how they grow in the midst of this strange time in which they are found.
I endorse watching this series if you enjoy shows where the characters are the stars, and their equipment trimmings on the cake. I think if you come into this show as I did, with lower expectations, that you may find yourself pleasantly surprised at its outcome.